As an avid viewer since Netflix’s hit show Love Is Blind’s inception, I can confirm that this past season has been chaotic. Let me give you the show’s premise quickly: Boy meets girl behind a wall; boy and girl fall in love behind a wall; boy and girl decide to spend the rest of their lives together behind a wall; and then, the wall comes down.
For everyone who has ever been on a date, ever, you know this is a recipe for disaster. This gets me to Jared Pierce and Taylor Rue, who trauma bonded quickly and decided to get engaged early on in the season. But upon actually meeting IRL, things got awkward. The reason, which was revealed later, was that Rue was wearing … makeup.
“It felt like you were fake,” he said. “You had a caked-up face, fake eyelashes. I was like, Is this gonna be like, an everyday thing? That’s not really what I want.”
At the end of the conversation, he said: “Just don’t wear makeup.” And later on, he proceeded to compliment her bare face, saying he prefers her without makeup to see her freckles.
Awww, a man prefers a woman not to wear makeup — how sweet. Right? No.
As a Black woman who has often felt ostracized and othered for not fitting into Eurocentric beauty standards because of my appearance — natural hair, curves, and makeup choices — it’s frustrating to see an interaction like this play out on television. I’ve dealt with my own appearance anxiety while dating, whether I’m combating a bad breakout or I’m afraid to take off my foundation in front of a new partner. Or I’m switching up my hairstyle, and I’m worried if the guy I’m dating will like my new braids, curls, or extensions. Women are already under an immense amount of pressure in this world, including political pressure when it comes to the personal decisions we make with our own bodies. Whether you decide to wear a full face or show your natural beauty should not be a decision that is swayed by anyone, especially not by a man named JP.
The opinion that JP expressed represents a wider societal issue women face every day that goes much beyond makeup: It has to do more with the way in which women are judged or perceived based primarily on their looks. Why does a man, or anyone for that matter (a boss, a family member, a friend, etc), feel like he has the right to comment on a woman’s makeup choices? It brings into question why, in 2023, women are still being subjected to outdated double standards and unhealthy beauty standards. JP’s stance feels hypocritical: He said he fell in love with Taylor in the first place because of her personality and their natural connection. But now, he can’t talk to her because of the “caked up” “stuff” she has on her face? First off, it’s called makeup, sir, and second, it’s not “stuff” — makeup is an art form of creative expression that should be celebrated because it aids in self-confidence, freedom, and unique self-presentation.
Fortunately, viewers and internet commenters have quickly come to her defense, calling out JP for his misogynistic views. Spoiler alert: Rue ended the engagement, rightfully so, and according to social media, she seems to be thriving in life and is even teaching her followers fun makeup tips on her Instagram stories and recently launched “Caked Up” merch for glam lovers.
Meanwhile, JP, good luck on your future dating endeavors.